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Easter Brunch


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Easter being 2.5 weeks away, and having received the flight itineraries of a horde of relatives who will be descending upon me and demanding to be fed...the desert Southwest is so popular this time of year! I thought it might be time to start planning a menu for Easter Sunday brunch.

Easter has always been one of the laxest holidays for our family in terms of things that "simply must" be on the menu (unlike Thanksgiving, where scores of dishes are cooked because one family member will be severely put out if something isn't there).

All the kiddies are all grown up, so I will have a bloody mary bar to kick things off with some cheeses, crostini, pates, and assorted little dips. Also have a recipe for a nice chilled spring pea and mint soup for a light soup course.

It's already getting nice & warm here in Phoenix, so the grill will play a major role in cooking for Easter to keep some of the heat outside. I'm thinking grilled rack of lamb and grilled quails with proscuitto and figs for the main course, with sides of roasted potatoes with lemon salt, Martha's mac & cheese 101 (my forever "must-have" at every holiday), asparagus with a lemon dipping sauce, and carrots (which may be very simple as I have not found a recipe for these yet that is appropriate to spring, but I know I want them for the orange color on the plate).

For dessert, a chocolate raspberry pavlova for the chocolate crowd and some mini lemon-blueberry tartlets served with limoncello for the non-chocolate crowd.

So, what's on your menu for Easter this year? Any traditions in your family on what to cook? Any traditions in your family for what to do on Easter (have an egg hunt, wear white hats & gloves, lounge around drinking bloody mary's...)?

Inquiring minds want to know...

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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We'll have a crawfish boil with potatoes and corn on the cob, and plenty of ice cold beer on Saturday afternoon, and a low-key lunch on Sunday. The kids will have to get back on the road, so probably the usual ham and scalloped potatoes. I love Easter. It's SPRING!!!!

Stop Family Violence

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This is the only holiday I host — and the only day of the year I invite guests for brunch. Once it was so warm we played bocce ball while sipping mimosas; once we huddled by the fire with bloodies.

This year I'll be making a leg of lamb for the first time ever. Suggestions? Grill? Roast? Herbs? Spices? Roulade? What else should go on the menu? I belive there'll be four of us, but it could be six.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Same here, I have spring fever, only slightly dampened by our snowstorm. I hope you don't mind if I link to an earlier topic, easter

[code-I have a feeling I killed it when I discussed non-dessert options & I'm feeling guilty. I still don't have a definite headcount, but I'm prepping by getting garbage bags, & disposable plates. I just wish it would warm up a little & by the end of this week , I'd like to start my planning...my menu is going to be determined by the fact that it's pot luck & everyone's been asked to bring both a main dish & side or dessert (depending on their name)-it may turn out to be alot of food! I'm still planning on smoking a turkey the day before, doing small sandwiches, w/ either homemade rolls or storebought dark wheat, cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomato. also black bean dip, & punch. I think as long as I cover the necessities & the weather holds, it'll be nice-our yard backs to a 15 acre county park, where people can go & play, we're right behind the basketball court, which is great for the older kids...I just hope I can set it up so everyone has a relaxed afternoon (thankfully, someone else is running the kids' crafts & the Easter Bunny!)...
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LBNoble, thanks for linking to the pastry topic - actually your topic was the one that made me think "hey, where's the general Easter topic?"

Anyway, have you thought about mini cupcakes or mini bundt cakes? Cupcakes rock and you could do different cake types, frostings & decorations to make it fun. Just a thought...

Liz, this will be my first time grilling lamb, although I'm doing "rack-of" instead of "leg-of". I'm a little nervous too, but I figure since it is on the grill, really my responsibility is to prepare and marinate/season the meat, and let the boys cook it on the grill. Gets them out of the kitchen and also lets them actually do something in preparation for the meal!

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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We love a quiet Easter late lunch--a few friends, pretty tables with pastel linens and white plates, spring wine and iced tea with lemon. This year the plans have been changed a bit, as daughter and family will be here from Atlanta (expected and anticipated---haven't seen them since Christmas). We had also invited her in-laws---lovely people---to drive up from their home about 2 hours South, to join us for the first time.

I have the silver all polished, the linens pressed, lots of cleaning and preparing out of the way, and have now learned that the whole family---MIL and FIL, their dau, SIL and their baby, and two other pre-teen grandchildren will be coming up on Thursday, getting hotel rooms and spending the four days visiting back and forth here and at their hotel. The guest of honor is, of course, our mutual new granddaughter, who makes any and all preparations and entertaining more fun. So now, we'll have 14+ to Easter lunch (usual friends will be invited for a less crowded lunch the following Sunday).

We and they will be in and out, letting the kids swim at their hotel, going out to dinner together, gathering here for impromptu meals and visiting, egg dyeing, etc. One special event will be a Fairy Tea for all the ladies in the family---it's a special thing between our six-year-old Granddaughter and me---they lived with us for quite a long time, and we've been drinking Fairy Tea together since she was just a baby. I wrote her a poem about it last year, an artist in England asked if she could paint several of the scenes from it, and it will be featured in a book on Fairies coming out in September.

Our granddaughter will make part of the dessert for our Easter buffet...she has her own small set of whisks, rolling pin, wooden spoons, small steel bowls, scrapers, etc., and has been wielding a little offset spatula for about three years now, spreading buttercream on cupcakes like a pro. She likes to decorate with sprinkles, royal icing flowers, anything pretty which adds color and beauty to her handiwork. Last year, we all met for a potluck dinner at the hall which had been rented for our daughter's baby shower, and I took a cake, already frosted in buttercream. Our Grand and her little friend sat and attached Easter goodies to the cake---marshmallow chicks and bunnies, jelly beans, robin's eggs, flowers--poking them into the frosting until it was completely covered. Sylvia Weinstock, look out!!

SOOOO, IF I get to spend a little time in my kitchen without filling orders for drinks, snacks, lunch, Koolaid and martinis, I'll be cooking and serving our usual Easter lunch:

Ham---a whole one; Hubby will slowly grill it on the Weber for about four hours that morning, then slice

Baked Penne with three cheeses

Poached asparagus with Hollandaise OR cold with mustardy mayo sauce

A platter of crisp romaine hearts with raita

Steamed baby carrots with lemon vinaigrette

Pineapple casserole

Broccoli/raisin/red onion/bacon salad/cooked sweet dressing

Devilled eggs

Fresh-baked loaves with pastel eggs braided in

Corn muffins/honey butter

Strawberries with ricotta/Turbinado dip

Cheesecake with lemon sauce (sauce is very tart filling for lemon icebox pie)

Decorated cupcakes on the cupcake tree

Spring wine, iced tea, espresso---champagne to toast our new granddaughter

Looking forward to all the work and the family togetherness.

rachel

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:wub::unsure::raz::huh:

Same here, I have spring fever, only slightly dampened by our snowstorm. I hope you don't mind if I link to an earlier topic, easter

[code-I have a feeling I killed it when I discussed non-dessert options & I'm feeling guilty. I still don't have a definite headcount, but I'm prepping by getting garbage bags, & disposable plates. I just wish it would warm up a little & by the end of this week , I'd like to start my planning...my menu is going to be determined by the fact that it's pot luck & everyone's been asked to bring both a main dish & side or dessert (depending on their name)-it may turn out to be alot of food! I'm still planning on smoking a turkey the day before, doing small sandwiches, w/ either homemade rolls or storebought dark wheat, cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomato. also black bean dip, & punch. I think as long as I cover the necessities & the weather holds, it'll be nice-our yard backs to a 15 acre county park, where people can go & play, we're right behind the basketball court, which is great for the older kids...I just hope I can set it up so everyone has a relaxed afternoon (thankfully, someone else is running the kids' crafts & the Easter Bunny!)...

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Well, it's official - Easter will be a brunch this year. Usually my aunt hosts it, but she & my uncle will be in Hawaii this year. So, Easter will be at my mother's house. She's not sure exactly what she's making, although so far maybe a ham & some kind of egg casserole. Maybe a coffeecake as part of dessert. I've been drafted to make "ham pie," what other Italian-Americans call "Easter pie." It's sort of a quiche, filled to bursting with ham, salami, cheese, etc - the base is ricotta. VERY rich, but something I love. Of course, I have no idea where my recipe got to, so I'll have to get it from my mother again. This is something my grandmother used to make, so I'm very glad my family is willing to entrust it to me. :smile:

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Easter is our homes holiday since its usually warm and snow free by then to get the old folks up the mountain to our cabin...yeah right this year someone may have to cary G'ma over the snow drifts.

Dinner has finaly evolved into a fairly constant menu : asst snackies including cheeses pepperoni olives veggies moving on to grilled veggies- asparagus sweet onions eggplant zucchini that I do on saturday and plate ready for nuking, Moms lasagna or baked ziti depending on her schedual, baked cola glazed ham shank half, grilled butterflyed leg of lamb that I dry rub on saturday with garlic, onion powder, cayenne, white pepper, oregano, and tons of hot smoked paprika, this only takes about 25 -30 min to cook on the grill. Brother in law and G'ma bring wine, other brother in law brings veggies, Nana brings fruit, Mema brings dessert....everyone over 50 having been so named by my daughter now 18...my poor mother is Mammy :biggrin:

past holiday end runs have included having so many people here I had to climb over the back of the couch to get the butter from the kitchen and the general population looking like I was insane for starting the lamb after the cheese plate.

we will be having 9, 13 or 15 this year depending on the US Army and my best friends family's homophobia...whatever... just ordered more china from Ebay

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Allura, this Easter Pie sounds great. Any chance you could post or PM me the recipe? Then again, it's hard to let go of a family heirloom recipe, so I'm happy to oblige, too.  :smile:

As soon as I get it from my Mom/dig it up around here I'll post it. :biggrin:

OTOH, I'm having some mild panic & re-reading this thread. Mom wants ME to host! This is utterly new to me. Thankfully it'll just be immediate family, I think, although I put in a call to my cousin to invite him. Might invite my father-in-law, but I'm not sure if he'll come up from VA to NJ. So 5-10 people. And my table only fits 5.....

Anyway other then "ham" I have to start building a menu - and frantically clean! :huh:

So far I've sorta got:

Apps:

-ham pie

-deviled eggs

Main:

-ham

-potato gratin with tarragon

-asparagus

-broccoli w/ cheese sauce

-?

Dessert:

-carrot cake?

This is all in the last 5-10 minutes. I have a small oven, small fridge, and a small kitchen in general, so I'm trying to plan accordingly. I kinda like lamb better, but ham's harder to mess up!

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Here in sweden, there's no "Easter Brunch"..

But we have easter dinner at easter day.

The standard family menu is something like this:

Like in every other holiday here (except Saint Martins Day and Crawfish days), we serve lots of pickled herring as a starter or part of the whole meal (which then ussualy then is a Swedish Smörgåsbord), there's probably thousands of variations of swedish pickled herring. in mustard sauce, in garlic sauce, in chives sauce, in dill-sauce, in orange sauce, in lemon sauce, in caviar-sauce, in beer-sauce, in onion-sauce, in sherry-sauce, and most recently in chile-sauce, in thai style-curry sauce, in pesto sauce, in guacamole sauce, in nouvelle cuisine style mustard-sauce, in whatever imaginable sauce. there's a swedish herring pickle varity on it.

Most people even have cured salmon with dill amd mustard sauce, smoked conger eels (delicious), boiled and raw vegetables along with the herring.

At every easter we got these boiled eggs a long with the herring which everybody in the family play games with. We smash togheter each others eggs (everybody has one), and the one egg which shell doesn't break is the almighty winner of the table!

Many people even boil their eggs with onion shells to get a brown colour, and the children always paints their eggs before dinner.

My family ussually serve some kind of meat after the herring. Like fresh boiled spring chicken, or pheasant in a devils sauce, but mostly Lamb with loadsa herbs like mint, rosemary, parsley, .. toooo delicious. All of this is swallowed down

with some good swedish aquavit (schnaps) and loads of Danish Beer!

Edited by Hector (log)
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Allura, this Easter Pie sounds great. Any chance you could post or PM me the recipe? Then again, it's hard to let go of a family heirloom recipe, so I'm happy to oblige, too.  :smile:

Apparently it came from a "Polly-O" ricotta recipe book years ago, yet I've run into other Italian-Americans that make it, so make of that what you will :biggrin: :

Pie crust

3lbs. ricotta

1 3/4 lbs. of a combination of ham, cheese (provolone) and salami, diced

4 eggs

3/4 C grated cheese (parmesan)

1/4 cup flour

Mix all together; put in pie crust. Bake at 350F for 3/4 of an hour.

Lower temp to 300F and cook for 1/4 hr.

EDIT: Changed grated cheese amount to 3/4 C not lb. It sounds more reasonable, anyway.

Edited by Allura (log)

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Allura, this Easter Pie sounds great. Any chance you could post or PM me the recipe? Then again, it's hard to let go of a family heirloom recipe, so I'm happy to oblige, too.  :smile:

Apparently it came from a "Polly-O" ricotta recipe book years ago, yet I've run into other Italian-Americans that make it, so make of that what you will :biggrin: :

Pie crust

3lbs. ricotta

1 3/4 lbs. of a combination of ham, cheese (provolone) and salami, diced

4 eggs

3/4 lb. grated cheese (parmesan)

1/4 cup flour

Mix all together; put in pie crust. Bake at 350F for 3/4 of an hour.

Lower temp to 300F and cook for 1/4 hr.

I thought there always was spinach in Tarta Pasquale, that's how I always got it. With spinach and ricotta!

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I thought there always was spinach in Tarta Pasquale, that's how I always got it. With spinach and ricotta!

I've never had it with spinach, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a variation like that.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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The Easter Pie sounds delightful. I'm tempted to make one for breakfast at some point during the Easter weekend...

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I need help. I am hosting Easter at my house. I have having either 9 or 18 (plus five really little kids; I'm not counting them in this total). And, I won't know whether it is 9 or 18 until next Saturday night.

We have to have ham, everyone insists (were it me, it would be a smoked butt, some sauces, cole slaw, etc., but that's not how it shall be).

The final kicker is that I will be gone until about 11:00 am on Sunday morning, and need to have a meal on the table by about 1:00, 1:30 pm at the latest.

What would you do?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Holy cow! :blink::wacko:

Order pizza. Massive amounts of deli takeout.

Seriously, I have no good ideas, just responding to empathize with your pain. Feeding 18 with 2 hours to prepare!

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Just an idea snowangel...:

Everyone likes fish pie (in England anyway) and fish is quite Eastery. So as well as your ham, why not make a fish pie base the night before and grate on a rosti topping and bake off for lunchtime the next day? I have a fabulous fish pie recipe if you're interested?

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I need help.  I am hosting Easter at my house.  I have having either 9 or 18 (plus five really little kids; I'm not counting them in this total).  And, I won't know whether it is 9 or 18 until next Saturday night.

We have to have ham, everyone insists (were it me, it would be a smoked butt, some sauces, cole slaw, etc., but that's not how it shall be).

The final kicker is that I will be gone until about 11:00 am on Sunday morning, and need to have a meal on the table by about 1:00, 1:30 pm at the latest.

What would you do?

Call a caterer, for Pete's sake! Or go to your local supermarket - many have fully prepared meals that can be picked up the day before. Order for 15-16 people and save the leftovers if needed. Have some hot dogs for the little kids. Call by tomorrow or you may be too late!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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Come on gang. Don't disappoint me! Suggestions still needed. Right now, I'm leaning toward smashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and some sort of salad, plus bread from a great local bakery. Plus, peach pie. (I have loads of frozen peach pie filling in the freezer, as well as a rather nice stash of crust, also in the freezer.) I'm thinking that since this is so early in the day, I don't need appetizers. Perhaps I need them, but I know I won't have the time. Forgot to mention that I am also involved in a sunrise (read, leave the house at 5:30 am) service in Easter. Reminder to self. Quit volunteering so much on days when one is the hostess!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Put the ham in the oven before you leave for service and set the timer for it to come on automatically.

Never mind asperagus. do the baby carrots in the slow cooker. Diana should be able to turn that on for you while you're at service.

The pies can be done the day before and heated while you're having dinner.

Mashed potatoes. Or a cheese potato puff that can be made the day before and reheated.

you're all set

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Boneless rolled leg of lamb stufffed with asparagus, onions and eggplant that have been roasted. The lamb is then marinated in plain yogurt after being studded with qarlic. Finally I grill it over and open fire and serve rare with small red roasted tomatos and basmatic rice drizzled with butter and red sea salt. :raz:

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Liz, this will be my first time grilling lamb, although I'm doing "rack-of" instead of "leg-of". 

Hope it's not too late, but one of my favorite ways of preparing rack of lamb is with Moroccan spices. A great recipe can be found right here on Epicurious. The recipe is for a big party so be sure to downsize. They've given smaller proportions at the end of the recipe but they forgot to convert the cilantro, so be careful!

It may not have the right flavors for your Easter brunch, but you can always make it another time!

As for me, I'm leaning toward garlic/herb marinade for my leg of lamb, grilled for a bit and finished in the oven. I'm thinking of proscuitto-wrapped asparagus for hors d'oeuvre and possibly a rosemary spoon bread as one of the sides for the lamb. I'd like to figure a way to work eggs into the menu but I'm coming up empty so far.

Any suggestions?

Did anyone see that recipe for artichokes with poached eggs and salmon in Martha Stewart Living this month? Looks great — but tough to pull off a la minute.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Absolutely ham in the oven early AM...

If you want the lamb dont roll it ...just bone and marinate, if its cut to the thickness of ..."london broil" it only takes 25 min to grill

build a nice lasagna/baked ziti/mac and cheese saturday

potato gratin can pre bake to a point then just brown on sunday

if you do grill keep the asparagus...add zucchini sweet onions eggplant etc...I do these on Saturday and plate then stick in Micro on Sunday anyway...this could be Apps with cheeses and bread or the Veg

Bread pudding for dessert... mine uses left over pastries instead of bread and less or no sugar custard

ham is cold 10 min after it comes out of the oven anyway :wacko: ever notice that?

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Lisa Shock
      I developed this recipe for a friend who wound up with many cans of Solo brand apricot filling and was wondering what to make with them. I adapted this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Sour Cream Coffee Cake, found on page 90 of the Cake Bible. The apricot filling works it way down through the cake and winds up near the bottom of the pan, making an attractive top later when the cake is inverted. Please use some sort of ring pan that holds at least 9 cups. You may substitute butter for the toasted almond oil, but remember that the oil adds flavor. I specifically developed this recipe with the home cook in mind, regular salted butter, and AP flour work well here. To reduce the sodium, use unsalted butter.  
       
      Ingredients
      113 grams (1 stick) salted butter
      26 grams toasted almond oil
      200 grams sugar
      6 grams vanilla extract
      4 egg yolks
      160 grams regular sour cream (do not use low fat or fat free)
      50 grams almond meal
      175 grams all-purpose flour
      2 1/2 grams baking powder
      2 1/2 grams baking soda
      12 ounces (1 can) Solo Apricot Filling
       
      12 Servings
      Preheat the oven to 350°
      Spray a 9+ cup tube or Bundt pan with non-stick spray or grease with an oil & soy lecithin blend.
       
      Lightly toast the almond meal in a frying pan on the stove top until it has a light beige color and has a mild fragrance. Allow to cool.
       
      Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, mix until the mixture is even and creamy. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the cooled almond flour and mix well.
       
      Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and mix until it everything is evenly incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
       
      Place 2/3 of the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Place the apricot filling in an even layer on top, keeping a small space between the filling and the pan's edges. Place the remaining batter on top and smooth to create a relatively even surface.
       
      Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350° or until the top is dark brown and springs back to a light touch.
       
      Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Cool and serve. Be cautious about serving this hot, as the apricot filling can cause serious burns. When fully cooled, cover or wrap in plastic wrap to store. Will keep for several days in a cool, dry place.
       
      Nutrition (thanks MasterCook!) 
      324 calories, 15g fat, (7g sat fat, 6g mono-unsat fat, 1g ploy-unsat fat), 5g protein, 43g carbohydrates, 175mg sodium, 101mg potassium,  58g calcium
      42% calories from fat, 52% calories from carbohydrates, 6% calories from protein
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